Ending Up in Surprising Places

Mayday Hills today

I have just finished workshops with some Government departments in Beechworth. The venue was LaTrobe at Beechworth which is the old Mayday Hills Mental Hospital. During the workshop I could not help reflecting that 20 years ago when I was a clinician in mental health I would never have suspected that I would have ended up facilitating creative thinking workshops as a consultant in the same venue as I was relocating patients from Willsmere to. Life seemed fairly straightforward then. Today we need so much more in terms of agile thinking ability. Apart from the notion we cannot necessarily predict what will be happening next, the world is so much more a complex place. Simple solutions and linear thinking no longer serve us well to deal with complex problems and make decisions in a world that can be unpredictable.

In relocating patients, the decisions made were not particularly complex, if they had family in Beechworth or nearby they went there. The decisions were also made in quite a hierarchical way. Today due to the complexity we often do not have the solutions to problems ourselves, but need multiple perspectives to solve problems and develop ideas and often the minute we do, everything changes as the elements shift and change and impact on one another. This is particularly the case in people stuff which is messy and complex. so we need to experiment and see what works.

The workshops were designed to help participants develop some of the thinking agility that is necessary today and not rush to solutions to a problem before the thinking took place. They were offered a framework of thinking and some tools to do this and engaged in developing probes and experiments they could take back to the workshop to assist with innovative thought.

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